Putting condoms on bananas: what passed for sex ed in the 80s and 90s

SEX education in the 80s and 90s was a mystifying process that left you more clueless than you started. Here’s how you attempted to piece together the facts of life:

The birds and the bees

Rather than explaining the process in basic, comprehensible language, why not trot out one of the most bizarre metaphors ever invented? After 40 minutes of your clearly mortified PE teacher vaguely rambling on, everyone left the classroom confused and under the impression that birds and bees secretly shag.

A visit from a priest

If you were unfortunate enough to go to a strictly religious school then you’re probably still slightly unsure about what sex actually is. Having a man who has been sworn to celibacy explain sex to you is like asking a dolphin to land a plane. They’re woefully unqualified for the job, and it’s guaranteed to end in disaster.

Putting a banana on a condom

Nothing could be designed to make teenagers more afraid of sex than seeing their science teacher unfurl a condom over a banana. When you eventually did have your first sexual experience, the mental image of Mr Blakeley brandishing about his rubbered-up lunch was more than enough to throw you off your stride.

Porn magazines

Nowadays, porn is available at the click of a button, but in the 80s and 90s teenagers had to seek it out by furtively peeping at the top shelf at the newsagents, or hope they stumbled upon it in a hedge. Unfortunately, a half-second glimpse of a penis before getting kicked out of the shop or a water-damaged picture of a vulva did not provide a realistic understanding of the biological workings of the opposite sex.

A friend’s older sibling

Hearing the almost certainly fabricated tales of going all the way from a friend’s sibling in the Upper Sixth was about as close as you’d get to learning the realities of sex. From this, you assumed that intercourse could only take place in the backseat of a Peugeot 306 in a rural lay-by, a scenario you harbour kinky fantasies about to this day.

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Why £5,300 energy bills are not a bad thing, by Liz Truss

DOOMMONGERS will say £5,300 energy bills could drive millions into poverty. Let me, Liz Truss, explain why they are not a bad thing.

They’ll help you budget

The cost of living crisis is putting pressure on everyone’s purse strings. But with a whopping great energy bill to fork out for on a regular basis you’ll have a fresh incentive to budget accordingly. Try cutting back on luxuries like food and shelter to save some extra pennies that won’t touch the sides of the amount you owe.

They’re good for the environment

An energy bill of £5,300 will discourage you from watching the telly, switching on the kettle or taking a shower more than once a month. This will drastically lower your carbon footprint to a level even Greta Thunberg would be proud of. Of course this will be offset by the coal mines that will be reopened to prevent blackouts, but never mind. I’ll still claim it as a win for me.

Taxing energy companies is evil

As I’ve recently made clear, profits are not evil. So what if a business reaps a massive bonus while its customers will shiver to death this winter? That’s the free market and you all voted for the party which supports it so you can’t complain. Raising the taxes energy companies have to pay definitely is immoral, though. Plus it would make our next donor party a bit awkward.

They’ll take care of the surplus population

As people on the White Cliffs of Dover scream to migrants trying to cross the Channel: Britain’s full. Driving people into fuel poverty will free up some space by thinning out the surplus population, which has been a key Tory policy ever since we swept into power. Remember austerity and our ineffectual pandemic response?

Levelling up

Look, I know these skyrocketing energy bills are unsustainable, but I’m in an election race so I can’t afford to lose face. That’s why I’ll use the catch-all bullshit terms Johnson used to ascend to power. The number on your statement has been levelled up to a much bigger one, which is a good thing because economic growth Brexit woke mob sunlit uplands.